The Apocalypse Log

Due to popular request, I’m putting all my character’s journal entries into this thread from here on out. The current entries will be added throughout the day, small bits at a time in fear it looks like I’m just spamming the thread.

My sheltermate had a lot of crap on him. One of them was a mininuke. What the hell?! I didn’t find out about this until he started running around trying to kill a rabbit while waving it around like a lunatic. I immediately banned him from using it until further notice. He then tried to give a Master Zombie a hug. I immediately took it off his corpse before he thought about using it.

Of course, I hardly trusted myself with it, let alone anyone else crazy enough to survive this apocalypse, but I couldn’t just throw it away…

Or could I? There was a military outpost nearby, with a few turrets guarding it…

Not anymore!

After nuking a military outpost, I decided to move further north. I’m thinking this town had a lot of fitness nuts, given that there are four sporting goods stores on the same street.

I checked out a dilapidated old house further north and found out that it was a minefield… after I stepped on one of them. It hurt like hell, but somehow, I managed to shrug it off. After securing a garage in the north part of town, I decided to try out my new compound bow I found in one of the sporting goods stores on a bear.

I should have picked smaller game to start off with. I just finished stuffing my organs back in my body, and now I’m about to go sleep it off. This long island iced tea I mixed earlier should help me forget the horrible pain.

Living in this garage for a month and a half has, frankly, been a bit empty. Most of my time has been devoted to scavenging for more water containers and batteries to fuel my much valued hotplate, in between fortifying the garage’s own defenses and catching up on my reading. Food is almost a nonissue at this point, given how the bear traps I discovered seem to generate their own supply of rabbits. After digging trenches out back all day, I returned to the front and found all the traps set off, claiming over a dozens squirrels and rabbits, even a deer! I ate well that night, but I’ll have to be more frugal about those traps. They’re meant to defend against ol’ Zed, not passively kill the local wildlife, and I want to ensure a large, healthy population for my own future.

On a similar note, I don’t get why the cougars and wolves persist on coming after me. I’ve felled dozens of their kind to the point it’s almost become a morning ritual. I’m getting pretty handy with this steel spear I made. The other day a Cougar charged at me, and I quickly chucked the spear and skewered the damn thing head to tail! Extracting it was a messy job.

Back on my original point, I have a garage, but no car. It actually kinda disturbed me that I haven’t found a car anywhere in this backwater town. I guess as evidenced by the numerous sporting goods stores on the southern end that people didn’t like to drive around here, but come on! Not even a bicycle? It makes no sense!

A car would be ideal to help me transport goods back to the garage, but I’m not sure how far I’ll have to go to find one. Turns out, I didn’t need to go far. After packing a few days’ worth of rations, I set out east past a nearby evac shelter and an ominous wreckage of some sort of military chopper near a fork in the road, I spotted a sewage treatment plant roughly an hour’s walk away. When I arrived, I found, mercy me, a flatbed pickup truck! The thing was in a state of ruin and disrepair, no doubt from negligence on the owner’s behalf (whose undead form came barreling out at me from the plant; thanks for the keys, by the way) and prolonged exposure to the elements and the occasional acid rain, but it was operable. Operable enough to get back to the safehouse.

Of course it wasn’t until I was behind the wheel cruising at 30 MPH did I realize that I have never driven a car in my life! Despite swerving across both lanes like a spaz, I managed to get it back to the garage without getting myself killed. After securing the garage and closing the shutters, I loaded the welder up with batteries and got to work on making the repairs I spent so many hours studying up on.

I may have gotten overzealous. It might not be fresh off the factory floor, but it now looks a lot better than it did. However, I did burn through almost my entire supply of batteries. Batteries that were fueling my hotplate and sanitizing my drinking water.

…I hate the apocalypse.

Cool stuff. Most of my stories end with me getting a bit too far away from home during an acid storm. Keep up the great storytelling!

Summer is nearing its end. I spent a week frantically running around butchering every flashlight and soldering iron for their batteries, and I ended up with quite a hefty supply that will last me into autumn. I used some of the surplus to finish up on the repairs to the flatbed, and I felt good enough afterwards to take it out for a test run. I thought the engine would have it when a brute tried to broadside me when I crossed an intersection, but it didn’t seem to mind as the vehicle swept him aside like a pile of leaves. I don’t know if it will do the same to the hulks further north.

A preliminary scouting venture to the northern most part of town ended with me on three separate occasions running away from hulks on the bad end of a roid rage. After the previous encounters with their kind, I started carrying around a loaded Glock at all times, and plenty of spare ammo to deal specifically with them. You’d think a cap to the head would drop just about anything. Not the case with those bastards. The first one I fought in this chapter of my saga took 3 shots to the head and was still going until I took out my steel spear and chucked it with all my might, taking his head clean off. He’s not getting up again.

After cleaning house at the military surplus store, I returned to the safehouse and dumped it all out on the floor. Man, this place is a mess. Most of my days have been spent outside, but now that I can go on larger raids, I’m forced to deal with the pig sty. It shouldn’t be that much of a problem. My DIY carpentry is getting better and better as I made a few repairs to the safehouse’s structure and fortifications to the boarded up windows and back door. I’m pretty confident I can make a few storage compartments.

I decided to see what was beyond the borders of this strange town, divided into North and South; the Meatheads vs. the Gearheads. Going west was quickly aborted; I encountered two gauntlets of traps right in the middle of the road. I managed to disable half of them, but I’m wary about trying to disarm the crossbows and shotguns. You’d think it’d be easy, but they always seem to stare at me… FOREVER…

Returning to town, I encountered one of the dreaded forces that haunts me in my dreams; The Incredible Hulk! He tried to take me on. Of course, I was packing a lot more heat this time, in the form of a 3000 pound flatbed ramming into him at 40 MPH. Broke the windshield, but he died instantly. As I got out to assess the damage and mop up the entourage ol’ Bruce brought with him, I noticed in a nearby parking lot… a motorbike! I was ecstatic, to say the least. Now I have two vehicles. I quickly returned the flatbed to the safehouse and returned for the bike. It’s not in very good shape - less so than the truck when I found it - but it works, and boy is it fast! As I reveled in the fortune lady luck showered upon me, I immediately formed an idea.

Since gas will be a dwindling resource in the coming days, I can’t reasonably take the truck out for every excursion into the apocalypse. The flatbed is a gas guzzler, and there’s little I can do about that. A motorbike would be faster and more maneuverable than the flatbed, not to mention more gas efficient, and I can take it out on quick scouting missions and return home before nightfall.

I did exactly that the next day, this time going east, past the sewage plant where I found the flatbed, and found myself in the next town over! Further north, I saw a military bunker through my binoculars. I should head there, next. When I bombed that Outpost weeks ago with a nuclear football, I filched some military ID cards. It’s a long shot, but maybe they’ll get me into the bunker? Who knows what’s inside there…

I hit… well, it wasn’t exactly the jackpot, but more like if you got three cherries on those slots. Not particularly amazing, but a welcome and pleasant surprise. I used up all my ID cards on the bunker, but I found a lot of military rations and other items of particular value that I indiscriminately stuffed into my pockets and the motorbike. I took the northern road from the bunker, which led back to Gearhead. As I checked out my surroundings coming out of the forest, I noticed a strange lumpy yellow mountain through the drizzle. It cleared up an hour later, and that yellow mountain turned out to be a giant beehive! Where there are bees, there’s honey. Mmmm… me want honeycomb…

I’m going to hold off visiting the beehive until I can get ahold of some better military hardware. This little Glock has been fine and all, but I need something with a little more kick… a little more chest hair…

After dumping off my boon at the safehouse and checking the integrity of my fortifications, I set off again to the town to the east. I didn’t expect such a grand welcoming committee! I spent the first two hours on this new holiday slaying zombies across several buildings like clockwork. I was about to lose the main horde through a house when from the alley came the familiar explosions of landmines! I looked over in the direction of the explosion because, really, who wouldn’t, and I saw the victim of the mine; Bruce Banner! Not that an explosion to the face deterred the walking tank, but I have sort of lost faith in those things when I walked away from one almost unscathed… not that I’m underestimating my odds. They’re still mines, and they still hurt like hell. Even after stepping on two more and losing a sizable portion of his mass, he was still coming after me. I quickly put distance between us and tossed a molotov right in front of him. On fire, missing tens of pounds of muscle, and still coming. Even Rasputin would have given up by now! Fortunately, I was able to drop the bastard after several shots to the head from my Glock. Just to make sure he wouldn’t get back up, I chopped off his head, then his limbs, and then cut his body up into cubes. I left the hide I normally take from his corpse, on the off chance that it was still alive and would try to strangle me in my sleep after I made it into a jacket.

Sleeping outside of my safehouse took me back to when I was an unskilled shlub running away constantly from ol’ Zed. Now I could take on the horde in open combat, wielding my steel spear like I’m King Leonidas. Months of survival have made me into a hardened warrior… not that I want to be. I would like to get back to my boring ass job doing… what was I doing?

I found myself awake this morning, sitting up in bed with my arm outstretched towards the now broken window at the foot of the random bed I crawled into. I checked outside. There was a dead zombie holding my spear in what little of his head remained, most of it now splattered across the floor. I reclaimed my weapon and wiped the blood off on his tattered clothing. A hardened warrior indeed…

The first half of the next day was mostly fighting. I seemed to have upset the hive, and I’m not referring to the two wasp hives I discovered. The zombies swarmed me, crawling out of every window in my sight; two months ago, I’d be dead. Not now… now I am a slayer, the Grim Reaper of the zombie apocalypse. They try to hit me, and I sidestep every attempt, block with my spear, and counterattack with a quick stab like a scorpion.

When I took refuge inside a pawn shop, I found to my joy a broadsword! I’ve been content up to this point with these crap weapons I’ve jury rigged from a broom handle and some steak knives, but it’s about time I got my hands on a real weapon. My second wind was like a tempest on the hordes. I came out of the pawn shop swinging, each chop effortless, and I found myself in such joy from the bloodlust that I shrugged off many wounds that would only hurt once I came down from my battle high.

Yet I am still only human. Exhaustion soon got to me, and I had to withdraw, bringing with me more boons for the safehouse, including some ammunition for weapons I don’t have and guns for ammunition I’ve yet to find. I fixed some of the damage done to the motorbike and myself before calling it a night. Today’s battle was only a skirmish compared to what I had in store for tomorrow…

Tomorrow, war was coming to Blackhive…

I understand that in times past, there would be battle hymns sung on the dawn of a battle or siege to spur the troops, to awaken something primal within their hearts. On my way to the town, my MP3 player shuffled onto some speed metal, and I could feel that bloodlust I felt yesterday awakening inside me again. When I confronted the hordes this time, I charged in like Aragorn in that cool scene from the last Lord of the Rings movie.

The siege of Blackhive had begun.

I fought harder and more violently than I ever have before. The unfettering legion came at me with their entire reserves. Necromancers would raise the fallen again and again, only to have their thralls torn apart by my sword and them along with it. The Master Zombies, their commanders, would promote their underlings and grant them terrible eldritch powers that would not stop me. Their hell knights, the Brutes, were powerless against my gun.

And yet they persisted.

The battle lasted all day. My entire body was caked in blood. Even now, as I write this, the fresh layer drops onto the paper and stains the lettering. How much of it is my own? I have been unable to tell. I know I’ve been injured, but at this point, I just treat wherever there’s too much pain… or too little…

Sleep came and went quickly; I only slept because I had to. The next morning, I felt rejeuvenated, and the injuries I sustained the previous day were gone. With my new second wind, I entered the fray again, cutting a huge swath through the center of town. The MP3 player ran out of energy hours ago, but the speed metal is still echoing in my ears. I got surrounded again by a fresh contingent of the Alliance of Zed. I opened up with a wood ax thrown like a tomahawk and cleaved a zombie in two with it. My safety glasses shattered as they pummeled me, but it was not enough to stifle the trance I found myself in. Having cut through the bottom half of the town, I started to head north when I heard the ominous battle cry of their champion… and my rival…

Several days of almost nonstop battle has helped clear my mind. Maybe I was just venting. Whatever bloodlust I was consumed by three days ago has left me, and now I’m thinking more clearly.

I got attacked by four hulks, each in groups of two. It was difficult to take them down back to back; I took a few beatings in the process, but I’m still breathing, and nothing feels loose in my body. I patched myself up and mended my torn clothes and headed further east. This time as I was trying to reload my new M1911, I got attacked by a bear. A thrown spear punctured a lung, which stunned him long enough to deliver the finishing blow with my broadsword. Then as I was recuperating from that ordeal, I found myself near a house that was swarming with black widows. I slayed most of them with a quick swipe of the sword, but one of them was lucky enough to get a bite on me before he was cloven in two, and even hours later, my limbs are burning like all hell with their toxins!

By the time my bloodlust left me, I took a look around town while I let the poison run its course. That’s what my high school gym teacher told me to do when I was injured: walk it off… he was an asshole. All the zombies, save for a few wanderers, were all dead. Bodies littered the streets in the wake of my killing spree.

Blackhive was taken.

I headed even further east on my motorbike to the edge of Blackhive and found a river. After taking a look around and making sure I was alone and safe, I stripped down and went for a swim. My limbs ached too much to actually go into the deeper part of the river, but I took the opportunity to wash the gore off my body and my belongings. It feels nice to be clean again, after months of living in this new apocalypse I didn’t want. Unfortunately, there’s no way to go back to the way things were…

But we can salvage our world and start over. That’s what I’m doing; putting a stop to the zombie hordes and making towns safe for humans again… wherever they’re hiding.

Three towns liberated under my belt, and a kill count to make Genghis Khan proud. Oh yeah, and I have a tail fin now. Looks pretty nice, but sitting has now become a little awkward, as has wearing pants. I decided to take the long way around from Blackhive to Gearhead… I mean the LONG way around. There was a road that went south, south, very far south to a bridge across a river to another town. I passed it by. I’m not about to take another city yet… I’m going to wait a few weeks to recuperate. In the meantime, I’m going to scout out more of the region, see if I can find something…

I went back up north nearby the evac shelter FEMA threw me into. I get that they were underfunded before the outbreak, but did they also have to embargo intelligence, too? Did they really have to ship me across states to the middle of Bumfuck, Nowhere? And where did that other survivor get her Mininuke? These are mysteries that will forever remain unsolved. FEMA isn’t coming back any time soon, and the Mininuke was already used, and its owner dead.

I stopped the motorbike as I came up to a mass of craters in the middle of the highway that went on for miles, just south of the evac shelter. I saw it when I emerged from stasis, but I didn’t bother to come over here. I didn’t think there would have been anything worthwhile in this rubble. A preliminary scan, however, proved me oh so dead wrong. Paving a way with my shovel, I dug into the crater and I found a katana! Ooooohhhh man! This is so awesome! It’s almost in pristine condition, other than a few scuffs on the scabbard. The broadsword is fine and all, but this thing is a work of art! Of course I had to test it! As I returned to the motorbike, I saw a wolf approach from the woods, its fur on its back up at weird angles, glaring at me with the eyes of hunger. I struck a samurai stance. A few seconds later, we charged at each other.

I didn’t even feel resistance as I decapitated the wolf with a single stroke. That was badass! After a quick meal, I got back on the motorbike and headed to the safehouse. I stored all the cool new stuff I obtained and made a few modifications to the M1911. The broadsword has been safely stored away, I made another steel spear for throwing, and I now use this awesome, new, possibly-authentically forged katana. It’s a bit more cumbersome to carry than the broadsword, but hopefully its cutting power more than makes up for it.

I slept at the safehouse that night, and as the sun was rising, I headed west, past the traps that stalled me the first time. My new familiarity with them enabled me to disable the more difficult ones, and I continued onward. At the fork in the road I headed north, speeding past some weird fungus creatures and a few military outposts. I thought I saw another town to the south, but again, like Riverside, I’m not heading to a new town just yet. I headed further and further west, where the forests opened up to a large plain. Up ahead, there was a dull blue speck that broke the green landscape, and I grinned to myself, finally discovering what I had been searching for for a while now…

As the sun set in the west, I opened up the familiar flask of mysterious, viscous sludge. I don’t know what inspired me to drink it before, but it gave me that strange tail. Right next to me was a container of stem cells that, according to the label on the side, you drank, and was supposed to reverse the effects of mutations like this. It was open and within arm’s reach, just in case something really bad happened, like my thumbs fell off or all my bones dissolved.

It’s hard to place the taste of this stuff. It’s almost like molasses, if molasses was extremely bitter and you drank a pint of it. Obviously I’m fine; turned out I didn’t need the purifier. Sitting in the darkness of the science lab entrance, I immediately began to notice the effects of the new mutation. At first I thought a light came on or something, but then I realized that my vision in the darkness had improved! Impressive. I put the stopper on the flask again, and I noticed something a bit odd about my skin: it was turning green. Not as green as the alien chick from Star Trek, but green enough for it to be noticeable. I flexed my hand, and it didn’t seem to hinder my movement, but… it felt very strange, like the stalk of a plant. Maybe it was a side effect of the mutation, but I sure didn’t feel like human flesh anymore. Interesting… I’m keeping the purifier. I don’t know the full extent of this mutation, but if it turns out to be a bad thing apart from the superficial weirdness, I’ll chug the stem cells. Shame, though… I’m getting used to having a tail.

With that out of the way, I descended the stairs of the science lab. I remember there being a lot of investigative journalism stories about the morally ambiguous experiments they performed in these strange laboratories, but I didn’t think they’d be the source of the zombie outbreak! I hacked a computer terminal and read one of the log entries. It was about a human experiment with some strange virus sample that turned the subject into… oh god dammit! It turned him into my nemesis: ol’ Mark Ruffalo. I quickly armed myself with the M1911, modified with a spare clip. I’m not used to the number of shots it carries, less than half that of the Glock, but thankfully the .45 calibur rounds are much more powerful. If the Hulk was still around here, I didn’t want to be caught off guard. Fortunately, even though it was pitch black in here, I could see many yards in front of me. As far as I knew, I had an edge up on the Hulk now.

I swept through every room, but there was nothing around here safe for a few automated defense systems. I headed to the north east end of the lab, and inside, I saw a few robot guards roaming around this small array of lockers. Why were they guarding this one spot? There had to be something valuable in those lockers! Again, my night vision came in handy here; I had an edge up on those robots. They all had a machine gun for a right arm, and if they could see as well as I could, I would have been dead the instant I opened up those doors.

I snuck up behind one, quietly as I could, and fired several shots into its chassis. Now in hindsight, that was incredibly stupid, since these things appeared to be armored and I’m not sure just how effective .45 calibur shots are against pure metal. However, I must have hit something sensitive, as it convulsed several times and exploded in a shower of sparks. That alerted a few of the other robots in the room, and they came over to investigate the disturbance. I took a few steps back, and they rolled past me, buzzing to themselves. They couldn’t see me… this was too perfect. About 10 minutes later of carefully kiting around them and shooting them in that sensitive spot, and the security bots were all dead. With that done, I opened up the first locker and - oh my…

Guns. Lots of them. And ammunition to boot. Holy crap, it’s like Knob Creek in here! Why the hell were there so many guns and ammo in this science lab? Oh who the hell cares! Obviously there wouldn’t be enough space in the motorbike’s box to carry all the guns, but I could still carry the ammo. I scooped as much of that as I could into the backpack, and then I perused through the racks of guns in the other lockers. I could take one or two with me… I wanted something long ranged that I could use to take down zombies or otherwise from a distance, something with a lot of stopping power…

I’ll need to make a second trip. It’s getting late, though, and I’m starting to get tired. Of all the things I’d forget to bring, I’d forget the rollmat. Eh, doesn’t matter. There are dorms down in the lab I could use, and these weird sliding doors seem sturdy enough. After securing one of the rooms, I closed the door and went to sleep on one of the beds. Pretty soft… I could fall right asleep in no time…

…what’s that weird clicking sound?

I immediately felt something was wrong when I woke up. I clutched the Katana and backed up against the wall next to the door; I’m glad I secured it before going to sleep. Whatever was clicking was right on the other side of the door. I opened it, and the automated sliding door slid to the side with a low hiss like pressurized air being released. In the darkness right in front of me, was the enormous form of an ant the size of a German Shepherd! Ants are problematic enough small, but this… if there were more of them nearby, even I, the Grim Reaper of the Apocalypse, was going to have a problem.

And there were. I could hear the hisses and clicks echoing through the walls. The entire lab was swarming with them! What the hell was going on?! Was there a mutagen leak, or was this another one of their insane experiments?! I quickly hacked through the ant on my way out, trying not to think about the implications, but I couldn’t help it. Ants lived in colonies of millions, and if they were all that size, such a colony would be the size of Manhattan! The amount of food required to feed that kind of horde was immense, and they would probably be driven by that hunger to raid the surface world. While that would help diminish the zombie horde, it would also prevent settlements in this region.

This was worse than a zombie horde. Ants are much more organized than the undead, and in some ways you could say they’re also smarter. And they have numbers. It’s a diabolical combination, and if I wanted this place to be habitable to humans again, I had to deal with them.

I got into a large fight with the ants on my way back to the surface. I managed to avoid the main body, but even then, I still had to fight through several dozen of the bastards. I got quite nicked fending them off; those pincers hurt like hell! After patching myself up and making some repairs to my clothes, I got on my motorbike and drove several miles back east, trying to put as much distance as possible between myself and that science lab.

I stopped in the middle of nowhere and checked the map I printed out from the computer back at the lab. Apparently they had a bunch of surveillance systems located throughout the region that gathered random bits of data, but it also created a very detailed map of the region. There were a few points of interest, like a strange house of some sort to the northwest in the middle of the plains, an even stranger tower of fungus to the northeast, a mansion and farm to the south, just north of the town, and another science lab southwest of the farm. A lot of points of interest; I had my work cut out for me. First order of business, though, was to look into the Sewage plant just south of the lab I was currently at. Last time I went to one, I was rewarded with a flatbed. Who knows what I would find this time?

Huh… an hour later, and I’m now at an impass…

Alright, I guess that wasn’t so bad. It’s now nighttime. I arrived at the treatment plant at around 9 in the morning and found a whole semi right out in front! That’s awesome. Problem is, how do I get it back to the safehouse? I can’t reasonably drive both vehicles at the same time, and I didn’t have rope to hitch the motorbike to the back of the semi. So how do I move it to the safehouse?

My answer is the same as the guns in the science lab: I had to make a second trip.

Walking that enormous distance took all damn day. What took me half an hour to travel on motorbike took me 7 hours to walk on foot, but I have a semi now. It’s missing a wheel and the frame’s severely damaged and the engine’s been abused to hell (especially after I rammed it into some turrets near a military outpost), so I think I might just dismantle the whole thing for parts. I also threw an engine block into the passenger seat that was just randomly laying out in the middle of the road.

I’m tired as hell, so I’m heading to bed now.

The season is changing. Leaves are turning brown and falling off in greater numbers, and it’s getting a lot colder. Must be autumn now. I can only rely on the world around me to tell the time of the year. Can’t believe it’s been over half a year since the apocalypse began. The fact that I still haven’t found another living person concerns me. I do NOT want to be the last man on earth.

Since bringing the semi home, I had to deal with the space issues in my safehouse. The garage can only hold a few cars, and the semi counts for two. I also want to make a workspace large enough to make any size of metal terror. So for the past week, I’ve been butchering furniture in the other houses in the neighborhood for all the wood and nails I could carry, making repeated trips back and forth from the safehouse. It’ll be a big project, but I don’t have much else to do here at home.

Several weeks of moving around two by fours and salvaging nails from furniture made Jack a dull boy. (My name’s not Jack, by the way.) I needed to get back out there to stretch my legs, gather more resources, do something else aside from throwing construction wood into a pile! I got on my motorbike and headed south and to the east of Meathead and followed the road to a farm in the middle of the woods. I immediately had to turn tail when I got ambushed by an army of walking mushrooms! You laugh now, but they were reproducing at an alarming rate, and I couldn’t efficiently chop through them with my katana without having it pulled from my hands. I also saw a really big one towering above the rest of the forest. They seemed to be coming from that one. Once I got some better firepower, I would have to check it again.

I headed back home, drove right past, and went north of Gearhead to parts unknown. There was another sewage plant and military outpost to the north, because you can’t have enough of either. This time, there was only a bicycle. Just kept on driving. Even further north was an interesting discovery.

I came across a small bunker with a lot of survival essentials, but it looked abandoned for the most part. It had ammo, but no guns; canned food, water, and a few hardware tools. From what I could see based on the layer of dust on the bed it hadn’t been touched in quite a while. I wonder where the owner went?

I slept there for the night, and I headed further north through the forest. The sun wasn’t up yet, so visibility was low. A few miles further north, and I found a platoon of dead soldiers, but these ones were different. They all wore a strange set of futuristic-looking armor that, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to strip off of them. However, they also had a bunch of very alien weapons. Alongside a Milkor MGL, they also had a mininuke (holy crap!), some C4, M4s, and a Railgun! That immediately went into my backpack. I don’t know what to even look for to load it, but a FFFFF-railgun! There was simply no way I was going to pass that up!

So… I’m part bird now. I have feathers… of a bird. Not sure the Mardi Gras colors suit me, but they help keep me warm, and keep the water off me. Not sure now how I’m going to take a bath again. I’m going to need one after this.

I drank another flask of science in a science lab to the far north of that survivor shelter. I don’t know why; the taste is awful, and I’m taking my life into my hands by doing that. After my toast to the farewell of my human features, I tried to hack a nearby terminal and download the region data like I did with the first lab, but I think I triggered something. Immediately the entire lab echoed with an annoying klaxon alarm. Next thing I knew, I could hear the robotic buzzes of security drones beyond the walls converging on my location. Small ones, about the size of the ants from the previous labs, and equipped with very painful stun rods. I’m surprised the Katana is still in such good shape after cutting through so many of them.

Of course, they weren’t the only ones that came after me. The old caretakers were still around, and they were quite full of surprises. The first scientist I found tried to blow my head off with a laser blast from his mouth! I easily dodged it and cleaved him in two. I felt a painful jolt surge through my body like what usually happened when I fought the shocker zombies with metal weapons, and as the zombie fell, vials of acid came tumbling out of his lab coat, which spilled out all over the ground and quickly ate away at his corpse.

And there were dozens of them. What the hell were they experimenting on?! I wasn’t going to stay around long enough to find out. I quickly got the hell out of there and back to the safehouse.

Winter has come to Apocalyptia. Even with the thermal piping that replaced my blood veins (Nanomachines.), the cold still bites at my skin, and as a result, I got a cold. Probably doesn’t help that I’ve been sustaining myself on cooked game, MREs, jerky and potato chips for the past three fourths of a year; I’m not getting ALL the required nutrition. Fortunately, I’ve been able to find the occasional bushel of wild strawberries (and a few apples) to ward off scurvy. Hah! Scurvy in 2033!

…I miss the taste of a good banana, though…

I returned to Blackhive, taking a look around in the garages, then I had to triple back on foot, because I found yet another vehicle! Call me a hoarder, but I can’t have too many vehicle resources for when I build my dream dreadnought. It was a four-door sedan, but it had quite a bit of engine power. I went around from garage to garage, grabbing as many vehicle parts as I could find and threw it all into the car. I found a few parts necessary to make an electric car, which will be invaluable when the gasoline runs out.

After stripping the garages bare, I took a look around for anything I may have missed. That’s strange… that house across the street… I don’t remember it having so many trees…


An unbelievable surge of pain reverberated through my body as I felt something pierce my chest from behind. I looked down to see a branch the size of my finger having pierced through my torso! I looked to the side, and there was a strange plant thing that was shifting around, generating plantlife as it walked. The branch twisted in the wound as it grew, causing even more pain. I quickly grabbed out my M1911 and shot several times, killing the plant thing, and then I used the katana to cut myself free.

I spent the next hour and a half gingerly edging the severed branch out of the wound, and then another ten minutes applying disinfectants and styptic, staunching the blood loss. I don’t know how I managed to avoid getting something really vital pierced, but I lucked out. What’s even stranger is that as I was treating the wound, I noticed that the new wound was already starting to mend itself, albeit very slowly. Was this another mutation that I wasn’t aware of until now?

After I treated the hole in my chest to the best of my abilities, I took a look around town. There were an army of these plant things coming from the north, led by larger ones from whom many more brushes and even trees sprung from! Giant wasps, bees, spiders, zombies, ants, and now the very plants?! The entire world had gone to Hell, and I along with it.

Fortunately, aside from the large ones, whom you could call a Queen, considering how they generated more plants, they were actually kind of easy to kill. They flailed around with a spiked barb or some tried to wrap vines around me, but at this point I’ve fought worse. After dispatching a sizable amount of them, I started to get a little hungry. I planned on having a meal when I returned to the safehouse, but I wasn’t going to wait, not if there were going to be more of these things. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring anything with me, and by the looks of things, the wildlife fled at the first sign of the entire forest moving. I looked back at the weird plants…

I don’t know where they’ve come from, but they were quite tasty, especially after going so long eating mostly meat. Wish I could know what the nutritional value of these things were; I could do with more veggies in my diet.

Unfortunately, there were too many of them for me to deal with, and their numbers seemed to replenish around the queens. I cut my losses, jumped in the car and drove back to the safehouse. Blackhive was being reclaimed by nature, and I wasn’t going to burn the entire city just so they couldn’t have it; I’m not a sore loser. Hopefully they wouldn’t follow me to Gearhead…

Christmas… didn’t come, because it’s the apocalypse. Good. I didn’t want to have to fight Zombie Santa. That’s a sure way to get on his naughty list.

So I got over the cold quickly, and to ensure that didn’t happen again, I made myself a set of fur clothes with the huge surplus of pelts I accumulated over the year. Now imagine the strange sight of a human with Mardi Gras bird feathers with the tail of a fish, wielding a katana and wearing clothes underneath a fur coat and Ushanka made from bear pelts. You can now die laughing. That aside, it’s really helping keeping out the cold, so who am I to complain about how I look. It’s not like there’s anyone around to make fun of me…

So in a bit of a Christmas-y spirit, I decided to head north and check out that bee hive I spotted so long ago. I could do with some honey. That will be my winter treat. I carved out a small arsenal of wooden and steel spears and then began my assault.

…or not. Apparently the bees were having a bit of problem with the local flora, except this time it wasn’t the plant things that claimed Blackhive. It was the same fungus creatures that took claim of the farm to the west of Meathead. As I got close to the beehive, I could see through the sleet further north to a similar giant fungus tower that pulsed like a heart, releasing giant spores. In fact, there were two of them! Its legion appeared out of the forest. How they were thriving in this cold is beyond me, but clearly there were too many of them for either me or the bees to deal with. I doubled back to Gearhead and slunk into a bar. I stuffed a pair of socks I found nearby into a glass bottle of whisky. It was a very cheap brand that tasted like paint thinner (not that I know what that would taste like; my point is it tastes awful, and no one will miss it!). With my molotov, I jumped back on my motorbike and rode through the hordes into the forest, taking the route with the least amount of shrubbery and trees. I arrived at the center where the spires were. It was surrounded by these giant walls of mushrooms. Spores mixed in with the snow, creating this horrible toxic mix in the air, and all around me those walking stalks wandered off into the wild to spread their fungal territory like an infectious disease. I was glad I brought my molotov.

After lighting the sock, I chucked it over the fungal walls at the closest spire. I couldn’t see where it landed, but barely a minute later, and smoke began to rise from the base of the spire. I took a step back with the motorbike in tow, admiring my handiwork. I watched for over an hour as the fire ignited the nearby spores and fungus, creating an incredible spectacle that I’m actually surprised didn’t burn down the entire forest. As it burned, I hacked down nearby mobile stalks, trying to stem their populations. I had better control over the katana than I did last time, but it still got stuck occasionally. As the fire died down, I waded through the mountains of ash to the closest spire and swung at it with the wood ax I kept stored in the motorbike’s box. It took quite a while, but eventually, the spire collapsed to the side, throwing ash into the air, because it wasn’t already difficult enough to breathe. Once I got the taste of ash out of my mouth, I did the same to the other spire.

The mobile stalks already started to act strange with their beacons demolished. They weren’t paying as much attention to me now and they were convulsing wildly. Some keeled over and disintegrated into smaller spores. The rest of the day was spent clearing out the hundred something stragglers. By comparison, the bees were an easy foe.

I walked away that night with armfuls of honeycomb and royal jelly, and not a single bee sting on me.